SES Chicago 2011 Awards

SES Chicago 2011 ImageI just received an email with the subject line, “SES Chicago Attendee Survey & Speaker Presentations” prompting me to fill out a survey providing feedback on last week’s Search Engine Strategies conference in Chicago. SES will be happy to receive my survey results, because I had a great experience at the event this year. I was able to attend all three days of speakers and partake in the SEO, PPC, Accelerator and eCommerce tracks.

I went to SES to meet people within the industry, attend presentations, listen to speakers, learn some new “nuggets” of information, and of course…pick up swag. I walked away feeling I accomplished all those things. In fact, I think the best way to review my highlights from the conference will be “award show style” going over the best of them…

SES Chicago Best Presentation goes to…Taking Over Paid Search Like a Pro

Matt Lawson, VP of Marketing at Marin Software, was the moderator for this presentation and is the main reason why it wins my “award.” Lawson went above the typical moderator duties of introducing the speakers and leading a Q&A at the end of the session. Instead, he guided an extremely insightful conversation among the speakers asking questions along the way. The speakers, Joshua Dreller (VP of Search at Fuor Digital), Jeremy Hull (Associate Director of Paid Search at iProsect) and Oliver Sowards (Group Acount Director at Performics) broke down taking over a PPC account into a step-by-step process that was refreshing to hear as a SEM Specialist working in an agency setting. A valuable take away was to completely immerse yourself in the client’s website, products and goals before diving in.

SES Chicago Best Speaker goes to…Joseph Kerschbaum

I was able to hear Kerschbaum, VP of Clix Marketing, twice during SES. He did a presentation on how to pull, prioritize, analyze and leverage analytics within AdWords that practically made it look easy and fun. A great point he made was to understand your site (or client’s) objective and point all analysis back to it. Later in the week I listened to him present regarding advertising on the Google Display Network. Again, Kerschbaum’s highly organized presentation was easy to follow and understand as he discussed how to take display advertising further by leveraging remarketing simultaneously with contextual and placement settings that may yield a lower volume but higher relevancy of traffic.

SES Chicago Best Presentation “Nugget” goes to…rel=”next”/”prev”

Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting presented on pagination as part of the e-Commerce track. As someone who defaults to using rel=”canonical” in helping pagination on my client’s websites, I was pleased to have discovered the rel=”next” and rel=”prev” nugget-of-information Enge went over. He used great examples throughout his presentation and even brought up live sites from people in the audience to explain his points further.

SES Chicago Best Swag goes to…SEOmoz Lanyard

In case I wasn’t happy enough to be at SES in Chicago this year, I was given an SEOmoz lanyard to wear every day that nicely held my nametag and event schedule. Rodger looked cute on it…

SES Chicago Best Talking Point goes to…Search: Where to Next?

The keynote presentation on the final day was a panel of experts openly discussing their thoughts on where search is headed next. Some important topics covered included mobile, loss of Google Analytics data in secure site searching, and habits of the searcher. A point I found interesting was how search may go further away from something we spend so much time on…keywords. With voice technology such as Siri and the ability to make searches using cameras, barcodes, etc. typed out keywords and phrases may become a thing of the past…

Overall, I had a great experience at SES because I was able to meet great people in the industry and listen to relevant and valuable presentations…can’t wait for 2012!

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